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Tib's House for Sale

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The Betsy-Tacy Society

Tib's House for Sale

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I don't know how many of you receive updates from the Betsy-Tacy Society, but Tib's house is going to be on the market and the BTS is considering purchasing it.  Here is a letter from Julie Schrader, executive director of the society:

 Dear Betsy-Tacy Society Members and Supporters:

What a remarkable 20 years it has been for the BTS! The Betsy-Tacy books are all back in print, and Betsy’s and Tacy’s houses have been purchased, restored and paid for through the tireless efforts of local members and volunteers and the generosity of our members from as far away as Maine and California. This hardly seemed possible when it began as an idea. What is particularly remarkable is that it was all done without any local, state or national government assistance. We all have a right to be proud of our collective accomplishments!

As we look ahead, we are as committed as ever to expanding our membership, and we encourage you to acquaint your friends with both the book series and our organization. Through membership dues and yearly contributions, our all-volunteer board is able to maintain the properties. Approximately 20 percent of our annual budget comes from membership dues. The remaining 80 percent is raised through individual contributions, gift shop sales and admissions. In addition, we are still working to pay off recent street assessments.

Now a new opportunity has presented itself to the society. This month Tib’s house came up for sale. It is both the ideal and the most difficult time for this to happen – ideal because housing values are at a historic low, and difficult because the economy makes raising funds a challenge. We have received pledges from a few people supportive of purchasing Tib’s house. However, beyond that we have no funds to consider a purchase unless our membership deems saving Tib’s house and adding it to the circle of preservation to be a worthwhile endeavor and pledges support.

The amount needed to purchase Tib’s house is $225,000. The house is in good condition and will not require the type of restoration efforts that went into Betsy’s house. The commitment by our members, however, must go beyond the purchase of Tib’s house. If the funds can be raised to acquire the house, the society still must be able to finance and manage maintenance and operating expenses of a third property. We would also need to develop and implement programs so Tib’s house could be used by our members and the community.

Therefore, the decision to purchase Tib’s house cannot be made without members’ input and pledges of support, which we are asking for today.

We need your help – your creative ideas about bringing Tib’s house into the circle of preservation. We here in Mankato have seen that wonder on the faces of the children and their parents who have had the good fortune to visit the houses on Center Street and to sit on the bench where Betsy, Tacy and Tib once sat so many years ago. Would a visit to Tib’s house expand this experience in a way that is meaningful to you?

We have begun to hear various suggestions for structuring a purchase of Tib’s house, from outright pledges, to sponsorships of square footage, to no-interest loans from members. (Consider that our membership, more than 1,000 strong, could pay off a mortgage with a contribution of less than $250 per person.) We need to hear more ideas from our members as we weigh this important decision. We assure you we will not proceed unless we have the resources necessary to remain viable.

The time is short, and we need to act quickly if we want to secure the last of the Maud Hart Lovelace historic properties for future generations to enjoy. We are NOT asking that you send money now. We merely need to know if you are interested in the preservation of Tib’s house, the size of a donation or loan you might consider making, and how you would like us to use the property if a purchase becomes a reality. Please reply quickly.

Many of us consider what our legacy will be. We ask what our lives and experiences will leave behind for the next generation to build on, and we hope, in part, that it will be in some small way a better world. Those of you who have contributed time, effort or money to the restorations can rest assured that the world will be a little better place because the homes of Betsy and Tacy stand to acquaint another generation of readers with Maud Hart Lovelace’s remarkable children’s books. Now we must consider how Tib’s home could enhance our mission.

We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your continued support in promoting the legacy of Maud Hart Lovelace in Deep Valley!

Julie Schrader, Executive Director
and the Betsy-Tacy Society Board of Directors


Please respond to julie@betsy-tacysociety.org or send to BTS, P.O. Box 94, Mankato, MN 56002-0094:

Yes – I support the purchase of Tib’s house and am willing to pledge a $__________ donation.
Yes – I support the purchase of Tib’s house and am willing to make a no-interest loan to the BTS for $_________.

No – I do not support the purchase of Tib’s house because ______________________________.


P.S. A printable copy of this letter can be downloaded from the "Members Only" page on our website: www.betsy-tacysociety.org.

A more active discussion is going on at the society's Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=26598&id=1661921722#!/BetsyTacy

What are your opinions?
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